You won’t have to ask why your wedding sucked after reading this post. We’ll tell you the biggest guest gripes so you can avoid them for your own wedding. Make sure you subscribe for the latest.
Want your wedding to be awesome and not suck? If you want to keep guests happy at your wedding, which in turn makes your wedding even better, you’ll want to avoid these reasons why your wedding sucked, as told to us by polls from recent wedding guests.
We brought in guest blogger Genevieve to share a survey she worked on a few months ago, evaluating recent guests. This list is a compilation of things guests hate at weddings so you can avoid them at your own wedding. From food to dancing, we’ve covered it all right here, thanks to Genevieve. Take it away, G!
Things Guests Hate at Weddings
Hey, guys! Genevieve here and I’m the new guest blogger at EB. I’ve been a guest at many weddings in my 25 years on planet Earth and 5 weddings this year alone. As a frequent wedding guest, I’ve talked to other guests, polled our readers, and thought about my own experiences as a guest and compiled this list. I don’t want your wedding to suck so I have outlined some reasons why other weddings sucked so you can avoid them. I hope it helps as you plan your own incredible wedding adventure.
Things Guests Hate at Weddings, #1. Weddings on Sunday, Friday, or Wednesday, with little to no advanced notice
Your Friday wedding in L.A. was great but I had to take time off of work for Thursday and Friday, travel by airplane and stay at an expensive hotel in the center of downtown Los Angeles. That really sucked. Instead, why not send save the dates six months ahead of time? I don’t mind Friday weddings, in fact I like them because you get to have a longer weekend. But speaking as a guest myself, we all appreciate a little heads up and a save the date will make us so much happier, to be honest. You don’t even have to send a save the date, just put the info on your wedding website and share the link on Facebook. That’s easy enough! P.S. Wedding websites are free here.
Things Guests Hate at Weddings, #2. A strict dress code
It’s cute that you want everyone to dress in all white, or with a Hawaiian theme, or in all blue. Or maybe you expect us all to look like Hollywood glamour models from 1920 for your Gatsby wedding. But you see, I don’t own an art deco headpiece or sequin gown from 1924. And I don’t plan on buying one for your wedding. So please don’t give us a dress code that no one in their right mind would demand, whether or not you’re the bride. Instead, let us, you know, dress ourselves. In what we want.
My boyfriend doesn’t own a three-piece tuxedo, either, so yeah.
Things Guests Hate at Weddings, #3. No recommendations for guest lodging / accomodations
I like staying at a hotel after the wedding as it is easier to be close, get good rest, and then get a move on the next day. I’m not griping over hotel accommodations. What the gripe is, though, and I can’t agree more, comes from our polled reader Katie who told us, “My biggest gripe as a wedding guest is when the couple offers no recommendations for guest lodging. I hate that!”
Katie, I can’t agree more; it’s so much easier when couples provide recommendations for guest lodging or places to visit no matter where the wedding is being held.
Again, you can put this information on your save the date, invitation, or your wedding website.
Things Guests Hate at Weddings, #4. When the bride is a total bridezilla
Is there anything worse than a bride who acts like a queen? I’ll just leave it at that. I attended a wedding last summer where the bride was so strict with bridesmaids and practically threw a tantrum when her train was not fluffed out properly at the ceremony. You could tell she made all the bridesmaids, and guests, really stressed out.
But ironically I do like this mug simply because of the humor behind it.
Things Guests Hate at Weddings, #5. Waiting to eat
When I polled a group of recent wedding guests, a whopping 70% of them complained about having to wait too long to eat dinner as their #1 thing they hated at a wedding. We get that you want to take photos and everything, but come on… I was hungry at 4 and you’re making me wait until 7 to eat?! Apparently wedding guest Leah had an even bigger gripe: “At a wedding I went to a few years back, the couple got married at 1pm. The reception was held at 4pm and dinner wasn’t served until 7:15. What did we do for three hours?! Drink. And we were all starving by the time dinner was actually served. It was because the couple wanted to take photos downtown and it was really crowded, so they took way longer than expected.”
We know photos are important, but really, keep it to a one hour or two hour maximum and guests will be so much happier. Or take photos in the morning of the wedding, while you have some down time. We’re all hungry back at the fancy banquet hall!
Things Guests Hate at Weddings, #6. Having to travel far between venues
Wedding guest Victoria says her niece got married at a church one hour and fifteen minutes away from the reception site. ONE HOUR AND FIFTEEN MINUTES. In addition, there was a gap in time between the two venues, so guests had to travel by car and then find something to do for a full hour before dinner at the reception. That’s crazy, if you ask me. The furthest I’ve traveled between two locations was forty-five minutes and I thought that was nuts.
Things Guests Hate at Weddings, #7. Being asked for money as a gift
Few things in life are tackier than a couple requesting guests to give money as a gift. You know that line, “No boxed gifts, please” that some people squeeze into their invitations? That’s code for “WE DON’T WANT STUFF WE WANT MONEY”. I hate that line. And guests do, too. We get it, your wedding is expensive, you want money, yada yada yada, but we are spending money on going to your wedding and we’ll probably bring you a gift and it will most likely be money, but my gawd, don’t ASK for it.
Sidebar, there’s a couple who asked for money at a wedding for a past co-worker of mine. She and her fiance asked for money at every turn. At the shower, it was “please donate to Honeyfund for our honeymoon”, or “we’re buying a house and need a down-payment so money is especially needed”. You know what I did? I bought towels. They were on the registry. And I gave money for the wedding, but that’s just because I always do. But come on, we all want down-payments. And houses. And honeymoons. Save up like everyone else.
Things Guests Hate at Weddings, #8. Being seated at a lame table
50% of guests polled complained they hate being seated at a table with other guests with whom they have nothing in common. Or being seated at the kids table because you’re the last cousin who is not married and may or may not be bringing a plus one. Or being seated far away from everything even though you’re close friends. I have always been seated at pretty decent tables, due to sheer luck, but many of our polled readers complained about this, so I put it on my list.
Things Guests Hate at Weddings, #9. Bad food
People expect good food, good music, and dancing. That’s pretty much it. Everything else can go to total crap but those three things ring true. 80% of guests said bad good was their biggest put-off for a wedding, followed by a bad DJ, which we’ll get to in a minute. Food is important, folks. Serve good food and lots of it. Guests expect it.
Things Guests Hate at Weddings, #10. A horrible DJ
As aforementioned, a good DJ or emcee for the night is CRUCIAL and I cannot emphasize this enough. A bad DJ can even make the food taste bad, simply because you hear their horrible voice in your ear. When they play bad music or their sound equipment is poor or they don’t know how to make a party happen, your whole wedding reception can fall apart. Pay more for a good DJ, interview them before you book, and maybe even attend a wedding where they are performing so you can see their work in action. It is VERY, very essential.
Things Guests Hate at Weddings, #11. A small dance floor or none at all
One of the top things wedding guests hate? When the dance floor is too small OR there is no dance floor at all. People expect food. Music. Dancing. Don’t forget any of these things. If you as the couple don’t dance, that’s fine, but let guests have the option of dancing. What else are guests supposed to do for 3+ hours after dinner, stare at each other?
And we don’t want to play board games all night either.
Things Guests Hate at Weddings, #12. Not passing out cake and coffee
My grandmother loved to eat cake and have coffee at a wedding, as though that was like the major highlight of the night. Everyone likes to be served cake and in recent years I have noticed an emergence of a coffee bar and a dessert bar, both as a serve-yourself style. Don’t do this. You can have a coffee bar, heck, go nuts on a dessert bar; but don’t forget to PASS OUT CAKE and coffee to guests at their seats. It makes a big deal, even if you don’t think so.
Things Guests Hate at Weddings, #13. When you have a CASH BAR
Half of you will agree with me, half of you will hate me for this, but I’m just here to tell the truth. One of the number one things wedding guests hate at weddings is a cash bar. Yes, alcohol is expensive. Sure, you don’t want to foot the bill for everyone to drink and enjoy endless beverages. But guests expect it. Don’t give drink tickets. Don’t expect guests to pay cash for drinks. Just chalk it up to one big expensive that is part of the wedding and be done with it. It doesn’t have to be top-shelf liquor or anything. House wine and beer is fine!
Make sure guests’ drinks are paid for, and even cover the tip ahead of time (guests really love that so they don’t have to tip at the bar, but many don’t mind tipping anyway). Most guests won’t drink much, and those that do will enjoy the extra expense you’ve covered. Plus your dance floor will be full, as most good dancers don’t stick to water alone. ;)
Hate it, or love it that’s the facts, folks. Tell me what you think in the comments and share your own things you hate about weddings as a guest. I’m sure we can all divulge a few of our biggest gripes so other couples can avoid these complaints.
Honored to guest blog today, thanks, EB!
Also, Genevieve, at my wedding the reception is 30 minutes away, starts almost immediately after the ceremony (that is, as soon as folks arrive from the ceremony) and is a lunch reception, so there will be no alcohol. It’s not a “we don’t drink” kind of thing, but it doesn’t make sense given the time of day. Plus, there will be many young children present so I’m trying to keep it safe. We will not have dancing either, due to the fact that a 7 course meal plus the cake cutting and serving will take up all the time at the reception (which is only 4 hours max.). Kids etc can dance if they want to. I hope everyone will still have a good time. It’s a compromise between Eastern and Western traditions and you can’t please everyone.
I think the thing about asking for money is true of American or Western guests. My fiancé is Vietnamese and his family and Viet friends will automatically bring red envelopes with money. But I’m not going to ask them for gifts on top of that. My European/American family, on the other hand, might be offended if I asked for money, so they will want to bring gifts. So it is a bicultural wedding. Both groups might feel a little bit awkward about doing things differently than they are used to. I really don’t care either way… People should give from the heart or not at all, and I will respect that. I think donations for charity are a great idea, too.
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